has its mythology, Iceland’s is strong, with roots in age-old
Nordic sagas. Mention elves there and the skeptics and cynics
will roll their eyes, but just as many Icelanders will relate
an elf story passed on from friends or passed down from
uncles, aunts or grandparents.
does this belief reside among the human population of Iceland?
Well, highway engineers and construction crews take elves very
seriously. Elves live in rock outcroppings. In the United
States, road builders have certain salamanders, spotted owls
and other endangered wildlife species to contend with when
plotting a route, in Iceland, it’s the elves.
befalls Icelandic road builders who can’t recognize good elf
domain, including breakdowns of heavy equipment and even
worker mishaps and injuries. It is said to have happened on
more than one job site, enough to take the mythology
seriously. Consequently, road planners here consult with an
elf expert before routing a road or highway through rock piles
that may be elf habitat.
The town of Hafnarfjordur located southwest of
Iceland capital, is considered "Elf Central" in Iceland. This
town has the richest elf and spirit populations in all of
Iceland. Elves, gnomes, dwarves, angels, light-fairies and the
"hidden people" of all classes are all considered elvin
The Icelander's believe that most elves are good, however,
they do get upset if their homes are disturbed and they will
put a spell on people.
townspeople or visitors claim to have seen elves, there are
four nights when your chances are best: Midsummer’s night,
June 24, when the northernmost latitudes enjoy 24 hours of
sunlight; Christmas Eve; New Year’s Eve; and Jan. 6, the 13th
day of Christmas, when the last of Iceland’s
returns to the mountains.
I am the
The builder, the breaker,
The eagle-winged helper,
The speedy forsaker!
The lance and the lyre,
The water, the fire,
The tooth of oppression,
The lip of desire!
The snare and the wing,
They honey, the sting!
When you seek for me--look
For a different thing!
I, careless and gay,
Never mean what I say,
For my thoughts and my eyes
Look the opposite way!
John Kendrick Bangs, The Little